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Pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce

Pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce recipe

Just so there isn’t any confusion. Slow-smoking your ribs for five to six hours makes for the best ribs. Argue if you must, but that’s pretty much just fact. That said, you can still make yourself some unbelievably good ribs without all that expensive specialty equipment and barbecue paraphernalia.

One of the great things about this relatively easy recipe for pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce is its flexibility. You can complete the steps in stages, refrigerating as necessary and finishing the ribs only when you’re ready — there’s no need to spend your afternoon get-together babysitting baby backs all day. Now, I realize that some of you die-hard smokers might chafe at my use of word “babysitting”, but for those of us unburdened by patience and expertise, I promise you that “babysitting” is indeed the correct word.

It takes time and talent — a lot of time and talent — to properly smoke ribs, and noobies like me are constantly chasing our mistakes around the grill: opening the lid to peek too often; starting with cold meat; not using a digital thermometer; using green wood — the potential pitfalls for a would-be pitmaster go on and on. Pros on the other hand, can prep in the morning and spend most of the afternoon on a lawn chair reading Clive Cussler novels and drinking a beer and they will still make your pork taste like microwaved turkey bacon in comparison.

While the spicy plum barbecue sauce we use for this recipe is outstanding, feel free to use your favorite sauce or rub as they all should work equally well for these ribs — a fruit-based barbecue sauce isn’t always the easiest sell, we know.

Image: ForkingSpoon



Pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce recipe

Yields8 Servings

Mouthwatering pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce that can be completed in several easy stages for the ultimate in cookout flexibility.

Prep Time30 minsCook Time2 hrs 30 minsTotal Time3 hrs

Ingredients

 ½ cup brown sugar
 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
 1 teaspoon hickory salt
 4 pounds babyback pork ribs (or two full racks)

Instructions

1

Remove the membrane
Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel. Turn the ribs over so they're facing bone-side up. Starting at one end of the ribs, use a paring knife to slice into the thin membrane that lines the underside of the ribs with a paring knife. Making additional cuts as necessary, lift and pull back the membrane to the other end of the rack until the membrane has been completely detached. You may need to use a piece of paper towel to securely grasp the membrane. Repeat for the remaining rack.

2

Apply the rub
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ground red pepper, granulated garlic and hickory salt until the rub ingredients are completely mixed. Cut each rack in half and place the divided ribs side by side on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely wrap both half ribs. Evenly coat both sides of the ribs with the spice rub and enclose completely in foil. Cook in the oven immediately or for the best results, refrigerate them overnight or 24 hours.

3

Oven-roast the ribs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. If you refrigerated the ribs overnight, set them aside for 30 minutes before cooking. Place baking sheet with the ribs on the middle rack of the oven and roast the ribs for 2 hours or until the ribs have reached the desired tenderness. At this point, you can grill the ribs or refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to two days. Be sure they cool back down to room temperature before refrigeration and and thaw back again to room temperature before you finish them on the grill.

4

Grill the ribs
Heat your charcoal or propane grill to 375-400 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the foil and place them bone-side down on the grill. Coat the meaty side of the ribs generously with the plum barbecue sauce using a pastry brush or sauce mop. Close or cover the grill lid and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the ribs (meaty-side down) and brush with the barbecue sauce, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to sauce, cook and flip the ribs every 5 minutes or so until the barbecue sauce has thickened and the ribs are cooked completely through with pronounced grill marks (about 20 to 30 minutes). Serve with a knife and a side of extra barbecue sauce.


Notes

Not all ribs you buy from the store will have the smooth, silvery membrane (or more formally, the pulmonary pleura) that are commonly found on the bone, concave side of the ribs. You may have gotten lucky with a supermarket that removes the membrane for you. If you're finding it too difficult to remove, you can cut a slit every inch or so, to allow the fat trapped behind the membrane to melt while the rack cooks. The skin should be removed to prevent problems with the texture. It can become rubbery or chewy depending on how you cook your ribs.

Ingredients

 ½ cup brown sugar
 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
 1 teaspoon hickory salt
 4 pounds babyback pork ribs (or two full racks)

Directions

1

Remove the membrane
Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel. Turn the ribs over so they're facing bone-side up. Starting at one end of the ribs, use a paring knife to slice into the thin membrane that lines the underside of the ribs with a paring knife. Making additional cuts as necessary, lift and pull back the membrane to the other end of the rack until the membrane has been completely detached. You may need to use a piece of paper towel to securely grasp the membrane. Repeat for the remaining rack.

2

Apply the rub
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ground red pepper, granulated garlic and hickory salt until the rub ingredients are completely mixed. Cut each rack in half and place the divided ribs side by side on a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely wrap both half ribs. Evenly coat both sides of the ribs with the spice rub and enclose completely in foil. Cook in the oven immediately or for the best results, refrigerate them overnight or 24 hours.

3

Oven-roast the ribs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. If you refrigerated the ribs overnight, set them aside for 30 minutes before cooking. Place baking sheet with the ribs on the middle rack of the oven and roast the ribs for 2 hours or until the ribs have reached the desired tenderness. At this point, you can grill the ribs or refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to two days. Be sure they cool back down to room temperature before refrigeration and and thaw back again to room temperature before you finish them on the grill.

4

Grill the ribs
Heat your charcoal or propane grill to 375-400 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the foil and place them bone-side down on the grill. Coat the meaty side of the ribs generously with the plum barbecue sauce using a pastry brush or sauce mop. Close or cover the grill lid and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the ribs (meaty-side down) and brush with the barbecue sauce, cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Continue to sauce, cook and flip the ribs every 5 minutes or so until the barbecue sauce has thickened and the ribs are cooked completely through with pronounced grill marks (about 20 to 30 minutes). Serve with a knife and a side of extra barbecue sauce.

Pork ribs with plum barbecue sauce


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